Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know Lynda McKinney Lambert

My guest today is American poet and author Lynda Lambert who shares what is in her briefcase and purse, her fashion sense, a book close to her heart and dreams.

About Lynda Lambert

Lynda Lambert (b.1943) was born in Ellwood City,PA Her academic training is in Fine Arts and Literature. She was a professor of Fine Arts and Humanities until 2007 when her teaching career was cut short suddenly due to sight loss. Her art has been exhibited world wide since 1976.

Her first book _Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage_ is a collection of essays, poems, and drawings she did over a 10 year period while teaching in Salzburg, Austria

Lynda McKinney Lambert lost much of her sight in the fall of 2007, cue to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. She retired from teaching full-time a year later.

She writes and makes mixed-media fiber art full-time. She uses adaptive technologies for the blind to do her award-winning work. Lynda was determined to return to a creative life-style after her sudden sight loss. She went to live in a residency program for the blind for 3 months of intensive training. She attended the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services program in Pittsburgh, PA. in the spring of 2008.

Lynda enjoys daily walks with her husband and their 2 rescued dogs. They also have 2 cats and the couple care for a variety of feral cats that find food and a safe haven at their home. The couple have 5 great grandchildren, and 2 of them live just across the creek from their home.

Lynda with her great granddaughter, Bella who was in a school musical last fall.

Welcome Lynda and the first question is…How would you describe your fashion sense?

I described my fashion sense in a poem that’s in my latest book, Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems.” The poem is “Adornment.” The poem was inspired by a friend who once told me, “I want to wear all of my jewelry at one time. I want to adorn myself with it all.” When I wrote the poem, it was a mixture of her sentiments, combined with my own passion for finely crafted accessories – hats, shoes, handbags, scarves, jewelry. I buy wearable artist-made works or high-end designer creations.

Here Lynda at the convention of the American Printing House for the Blind. Receiving an award by the president of American Printing House for the Blind for First Place in the exhibition InSights17.  And I think this perfectly reflects her fashion sense.

Knowing now, what you didn’t know then, what would you have done differently?

As a teenage girl in rural western Pennsylvania, I had a subscription to Harper’s Bazaar. I knew the name of every model and designer. This magazine was my dream world – I lived in it!

In my 40’s, I lived briefly in California where I worked evenings and weekends for Neiman Marcus. It is my single most memorable work experience. I was in heaven, for I loved high-end sales more than anything I ever did in my life. But, at that time, I was in the process of completing my 3rd degree and had to return to campus in PA to finish that. I had only 1 semester left to finish the MA in English, or, lose the 5-year period of work I completed for the degree. I’ve always wished I could have remained at NM for my entire career, but I was committed to completing my final academic goal.

What are the five things that you would always find in your handbag or briefcase?

During my final year of intense work on the rigorous MFA degree in Painting at West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV) I was a strange sight. Why? I knew I needed to start presenting a professional appearance in preparation for achieving my Plan A goal of becoming a professor. I quit carrying a back pack and purchased a handsome burgundy leather brief case.

After the MFA, I became Executive Director of a regional art. However, Plan A was to become a professor, so I was never satisfied

Plan A did become my reality when I accepted a tenure track position. I was professor of fine arts and humanities at a private college in Pennsylvania, until my retirement in 2008. This provided me with time to pursue my writing and art exhibitions world-wide.
Now, as a retired woman, I carry a variety of handbags that hold my wallet; lipstick which is a necessity; a little leather case I bought in Venice, that holds my house keys; my Betsy Johnson colorful sunglasses; 2 Visa cards.

Describe the strangest dream you’ve ever had.

I am a dreamer of everything irrational. I barely close my eyes and I am deep into a netherworld. I do not have pleasant dreams, usually. The most pleasant dreams I have, though, are when I am flying – I am untethered and free in flight.

My dreams are full of danger, drama, and situations that are terrifying and with no way of escape. I seldom have a dream that I would want to return to. Sleeping has never been a pleasure for me. I have severe sleep apnea and even with a c-pap, I am up all during the night. I usually work during the night, from 3-5 am since I cannot sleep. I don’t nap very often, for I have the same sort of absurd dreams.

Here is a link to a poem I wrote about my dreams. You can hear me reading it on this recording:

What is your all-time favorite book that you have read? And why?

Available Amazon

My favorite book would be Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis. (Link is included below) I also have a study guide for it – but I never taught this book in a classroom when I was teaching.

I read it for the first time in the early 1980s. I entered into a mythological world that enchanted me completely. The story consumed me. The book is a re-telling of the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. This story is one of my favorites along with the story of Persephone; also, of Eurydice and Orpheus – Greek mythology and other early writings are influences in my own writing and often set the historical context of my poems and essays. I like to go back to primary sources and trace down the time and place where an idea begins. Historical context is very important to me – for the credibility and deep meaning of ideas. They all have roots somewhere, and I try to locate them. (Lynda McKinney Lambert)

Link to information on these myths::

Books by Lynda McKinney Lambert

About Walking by Inner Vision

In this second collection, Pennsylvania artist, teacher, and author Lynda McKinney Lambert invites readers into her world of profound sight loss to discover the subtle nuances and beauty of a physical and spiritual world.

She takes strands from ancient mythology, history, and contemporary life and weaves a richly textured new fabric using images that are seen and unseen as she takes us on a year-long journey through the seasons.

All stories in this book were created after her sudden sight loss in 2007 from Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. Lambert invites us to see the world with new eyes.

One of the reviews for the book

Lynda fills this book with encouraging stories about things she loves including art, her beloved family, knitting, and poetry. Knowing she’s legally blind and accomplishing so much makes me really respect her as an author. She is living her life to the fullest no matter what! My favorite chapter is “The Living Room”, which focuses upon her sweet mother holding tightly onto family, memories, and Christmas traditions.

Also by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Discover more about Lynda’s books:

And Amazon UK:

Connect to Lynda

Website and blog:
Personal Facebook:
Author Page:

I will leave you with this lovely photograph of Lynda and her husband and a temporary house guest who know lives with their daughter. I now Lynda would love to hear from you. Thanks for dropping by.  Sally


76 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know Lynda McKinney Lambert

  1. Thank you so much for the fantastic interview, Sally! This was truly my pleasure and I am pleased to meet so many new people – new friends. Thank you all for the “likes” and for your comments. I will be happy to respond to any questions or comments. I appreciate this opportunity to get to know you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: AUTHOR’S CORNER: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know Lynda McKinney Lambert | Campbells World

  3. I enjoyed meeting Lynda, Sally. I laughed at her comments about adornment, they reminded me of my mom. I bought my mom a cushion once that read “If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour.” She loves scarves, hats, jewelry, shoes and everything else you can think of.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Thank you, Abbie, for posting your interview. Abbie was the first author to write an interview on my book when it came out. It was a surprise and I just love what she did with it. Just about everything in my book was written after sight loss. This is how I began to turn a disability into something positive and worthwhile. Between re-learning how to use a computer again, and making adaptations so I could continue to make art – it kept me pretty busy. I was on a MISSION to regain my SELF. The first thing I did was to start a blog because I wanted to communicate with others because I was isolated from everything, it seemed.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Butterfly, one that was very special to me was that I was one of 8 American printmakers selected for an exhibition in Osaka, Japan – and my work was selected for the Ambassador’s residence in Paupau, New Guinea through the Art in Embassy program through the US Department of State.

      Favorite country for me is Austria because I taught there every summer for years. I took students on month-long travel-study courses, “Drawing and Writing in Salzburg.” I took students on trips to a number of different countries and that was always exciting to see them making new

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynda, may I say, congratulations on so many successes, and especially afor all the conversation you’ve generated here.

        Learning all these things about you and others is wonderful.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. To fully confess, the German shepherd puppy caught my eye ( I have two GSD’s and love the breed) and then I read this inspiring post! I am so impressed! Thank you for the mention of the C.S. Lewis book. And that this gorgeous writer lived in California is something I can relate to, as I have lived in Malibu, now, for 20 years. This is a fantastic post! What a shining spirit our Lynda McKinney Lambert is!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, your comment on the photo just proves what I’ve been telling my clients that Lynda has gotten well. Photos help draw readers. Some blind writers forget this. I’m always asking for photos to be included, and glad to see Lynda took my advice to heart. She is a fabulous writer, and I hope those who have never read her will do so.

      Get Outlook for iOS


      Liked by 1 person

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I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

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